It is likely you will hear the phrase “open your heart” during a yoga class. Even for the well-practiced yogi or yogini, it is a concept that may be hard to practice~physically and literally.
That is why we love the “open my heart” partner asana. In this posture, the person on bottom is getting a good stretch in the hamstrings and quads, while the person on top is being supported in opening her heart.
Step-by-Step with Whakapainiga and Sara Luke:
• Whakapainiga is in downward dog, with strong arms and stable hands, allowing him to draw energy up through his arms. His heels are falling to the earth, activating the balls of his feet and drawing up energy from the earth.
• Sara steps between his hands (or the outside), placing her hands on either side of the spine. She gently places weight slowly onto Whakpaingia’s back, allowing her arms to open to the side, with her legs straight. (This should feel good, if not adjust until it does).
• Synching the breath, Whakapaingia and Sara take long expansive breathes, together as one.
Make sure you switch so both partners reap the benefits.
~Photo taken by Marika Ripke, www.marikaripke.com